SolarBridging the Gap

SolarBridge Technologies bought by SunPower Corp.

SolarBridge Technologies, a leading company in the field of integrated miroinverters has been purchased by SunPower Corp, a predominantly owned by Total (French oil and Gas Company).

SunPower bought SolarBridge in an effort to utilise SolarBridge’s DC to AC next generation microinverters in combination with their own high efficiency solar panels. The process being that when as a solar panel generates Direct Current it will be converted into Alternating Current by the microinverter.

The advantage of a microinverter over a standard inverter?

Microinverters allow for easier installation of solar panels on residential roofs, with factory installed microinverters there is no need for an additional component on the roof or the side of a home. The result offers customers an elegant, reliable and complete solution for their homes.

There is a current debate between microinverters and optimisers, which is better?

Each says their product achieves the better power performance, SolarEdge’s VP for marketing says “optimisers are more flexible, reliable and cost effective than microinverters. The topology of DC optimisers is better, for one. Microinverters are hampered by their limited geographic range.” With differences between grid costs and complexities all around the world, compliance with microinverters is often more difficult. “The elaborate nature of microinverter installations not only increases installation and maintenance costs, but actually limits the technology’s ability to grow into new markets. Because optimizers are connected to a central inverter, it is easier to move from market to market.” said Lior Handlesman, the VP for marketing at SolarEdge went onto say “Price-wise, microinverters are inherently more expensive. They are usually installed one per module, so the dollar per watt price is the same for a kilowatt system as it is for a megawatt system”.

SolarEdge offers $0.40 to $0.50 per watt for their optimisers and with that price being reduced as installation size climbs, optimisers are more scalable.

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